13 Followers
15 Following
AC

AC

Currently reading

Vineland (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
Thomas Pynchon
Tristes Tropiques
Claude Lévi-Strauss, Patrick Wilcken, John Weightman, Doreen Weightman
Richard III
William Shakespeare
The Dwarf
Alexandra Dick, Pär Lagerkvist
The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen, Cecil Day-Lewis
Labyrinths
Richard Wolin
Giotto to Dürer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery
Jill Dunkerton, Susan Foister, Dillian Gordon, Nicholas Penny
Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics
Hubert L. Dreyfus, Paul Rabinow
Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel
Steven Weisenburger

When Nazi dreams come true: The Third Reich's internal struggle over the future of Europe after a German victory : a look at the Nazi mentality, 1939-45

When Nazi dreams come true: The Third Reich's internal struggle over the future of Europe after a German victory : a look at the Nazi mentality, 1939-45 - Robert Edwin Herzstein This book gets 4-stars. It presents an important and interesting topic based on exhaustive archival research by a (clearly) competent scholar. On the other hand, the author frequently (reminiscent of Fest in this) lets his anti-Nazi passion creep into the prose of this text; and the topic itself is, in any event, a bit narrow for the general reader. Specialists, however, will want to read this book.

The book covers the rise and development of the 'European' idea during the Nazi period. It is often admitted (one finds this, I think, even in Judt) that the origins of the idea of European unity, of the EZ, and so forth -- while they do not actually STEM from the Right -- they actually stem from the liberal/Left -- nonetheless took shape during the Nazi period, when the ideas of a New Europe, a New Order, an economic union, a single currency etc were fashioned and used -- though more, as Herzstein demonstrates, for propagandistic reasons than from conviction.

The book contains, through this lens, long and fascinating portraits of both the men and ideologies of the period -- with a special emphasis on the feudal rivalries between the individuals concerned: especially Rosenberg, Himmler, Goebbels, Funk, and Ribbentrop. The chapter on Himmler was the most interesting to me, as the author demonstrates how Himmler developed through the S.S. a state within a state (and an empire within an empire) that was poised to 'inherit' power should Hitler have passed early from the scene.

Indeed, as the author discusses in his conclusion -- had Hitler died in 1941 or 1943, and the Reich concluded a separate peace with Stalin that left it in control of much of continental Europe - the "Germanic" (as opposed to a strictly 'German') Reich of Himmler's "pastoral utopia" (Coogan's phrase) would likely have carried on.

Hitler, in other words, was the "smasher of men" (and things) - but Himmler would have been the new Augustus...

At any rate, a book well worth reading.